Faculty: Explore options and VCU Libraries services during Open Access Week

October 23, 2023

October 23-29, VCU Libraries is celebrating Open Access Week. This global event is an opportunity for the academic and research community to learn about the benefits of open access, coordinate in taking action to make openness the default for research and education, and ensure that equity is at the center of this work.

This year’s theme is “Community Over Commercialization,” which encourages a candid conversation about which approaches to open scholarship prioritize the best interests of the public and the academic community—and which do not.

Open resources are freely accessible (meaning they are not behind a paywall) and shared with open licenses. Open licensing moves away from the standard copyright model of “all rights reserved” to a model of “some rights reserved.” In other words, when creators share their work with an open license, it allows the work to be used more freely by others. The concept of “open” can apply to any kind of work: images, video, music, software, journal articles, books, data, textbooks and other educational materials. Learn more about open access publishing and open educational resources.

Open Access Week is an opportunity to catalyze new conversations and create connections across and between communities that can help build more equitable foundations for opening knowledge. But these discussions and actions also need to be continued year-round in the VCU community.

Beyond Open Access Week, VCU Libraries supports the publication of scholarship and research findings that are accessible to all through VCU Publishing, the sharing of unique materials from Special Collections and Archives with the world through Digital Collections, and the creation of customized course content through the Open and Affordable Course Content Initiative

If you’re interested in getting your research out from behind paywalls, here’s how the Libraries can help:

Get your work into Scholars Compass

Scholars Compass is VCU’s institutional repository for publications and other research artifacts. This means that VCU faculty, staff, and students can upload their published work and make it discoverable to anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world. Including your work in Scholars Compass  is another great way to make your research open, and librarians would be glad to help walk you through the process. Please contact

Find open access journals in your discipline

One way to make your research open is to publish in an open access journal. But what does that mean? Open access journals are publications that make it free for readers to access ALL of their content through the publisher’s website. Quality OA journals will be transparent in their business and editorial practices and should be well-regarded in your field. They should also be up-front about any Article Processing Charges (APCs) used to offset the cost of publishing. The Directory of Open Access Journals can help you determine whether a journal is, in fact, open and can help you find open journals in your discipline. Librarians can help you navigate this directory or provide you with additional information about journals.

Find funding for Article Processing Charges (APCs)

VCU Libraries and VIVA, Virginia’s academic library consortium, have agreements with some publishers that provide VCU authors with full coverage or discounts for open access publishing fees. VCU authors can make their journal articles open access, immediately upon publication, through the opportunities listed on the open access support page.

To learn more about what VCU Libraries and others are doing to celebrate Open Access Week 2023, visit

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